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Coming into 2018 I made a decision to make this year all about me, to put myself first and have a focus on achieving goals I set for myself, both professionally and personally. With so many conflicting priorities in life, it can be hard to change old habits and challenge yourself but one month into my New Years resolutions I feel energized by the process of goal setting, regularly reviewing my progress and having changes underway.
From a personal perspective my New Years resolution was to quit sugar, yes give up sugar for the year. If that wasn’t enough, I also made the decision to run a half marathon in April, which only gives me 12 weeks to train before the big day. The longest I have run previously is 6km, and a half marathon is 21km. Quitting sugar has been relatively easy (so far) there are plenty of recipes out there and having the will power to say no has been easier than I anticipated. The half marathon on the other hand has been quite a struggle.
Professionally I have many different tasks that I need to focus on, on a weekly basis. I have set very specific targets around a number of these tasks to track my progress and improvements over time. One of my goals has been to improve my social media presence within the Ballarat region, sharing information to help people with their job search and details about positions we currently have available. For me, breaking down this goal to daily and weekly targets has helped me priortise this task in amongst everything else that is going on at Inspire HQ. You can find these posts on the Inspire HQ Facebook page.
Goals will help you focus on specific tasks with greater importance and focus, it will give you a sense of accomplishment when completed. It also allows you to create an action plan rather than just saying you will do something and then never doing it. If you plan your goals around the S.M.A.R.T principle, then you will be held accountable and have a better chance of reaching your goals. So what does S.M.A.R.T stand for?
Specific – What EXACTLY do you want to achieve?
Measurable – How will you know when you’ve achieved it?
Achievable – Make sure the goal is not out of reach or below standard
Realistic – Challenging yet attainable within the given timeframe
Timely – When is your deadline? Specify!
Goal – I want to get fit and lose weight
S.M.A.R.T Goal – I want to lose 10kg by the end of 2018, by signing up to a gym with my best friend and recording my body weight/progress on a weekly basis
By adhering to the S.M.A.R.T principle you can see that the goal is more thought out, measurable and it has a time frame of when the goal needs to be achieved. If you want to get fit and have no plan of attack, then you are just going to train sporadically, not see results and ultimately fail or lose interest.
The down side of setting goals is when you don’t hit your goals or take shortcuts. Recently I have been putting pressure on myself to train 6 days a week in preparation for the half marathon. One week I missed a training session purely for the fact that I didn’t want to go because I was tired. A few days after I was so disappointed in myself, upset that I had let myself down and now jeopardizing my goals if I continue in that frame of mind. The same applies for work, if you have set a daily goal to raise 50 invoices by the end of the day and you only get through 20, then you are already behind the eight-ball and chasing your tail the following day to try and make up for it.
I think it’s important to learn from your mistakes, if something isn’t working and you’re not reaching your weekly or monthly goals then make a change, implement something new, break down what the cause factor is or get an outsiders perspective to suggest improvements. Set short term goals that stem from your long-term goals, celebrate your wins (no matter how small) and most importantly learn from your mistakes.
I challenge you to set one professional goal and one personal goal, no matter how big or small, stick to the S.M.A.R.T principle and go for it. Challenge yourself…
- Drink 1L of water a day for the next 6 weeks by tracking your water intake on a daily basis on a calendar.
- Set your alarm half an hour early each morning to go for a walk for the next month.
- Increase your insurance sales by $500 per month by following up 5 potential customers each week to see if they are ready to purchase a policy
- Saving 50 pieces of paper within the month by monitoring printing levels within the team and automating procedures where possible
I’d love to hear some of your goals for 2018, let me know what you are striving for, what goals you have set and hopefully the results will follow. You are not alone when it comes to goal setting, talk about it within your team. When I decided to quit sugar I told everyone in my team so they can hold me accountable if they see me with a block of chocolate at my desk for example. It’s good to say your goals out aloud and have people support you and help you along the way.
Amber Allen has built a successful career on providing exceptional customer service and building mutually beneficial relationships. As the Temporary Recruitment Strategist at Inspire HQ she has a passion for helping people love what they do. In the changing world of work; where businesses need the flexibility to scale their workforce and employees seek greater flexibility, Amber’s passion, initiative and problem solving skills ensure she gets the outcomes her clients need and want. Find more useful information and advice at www.inspirehq.com.au or by following Amber on Linked In.